If you are anything like me, sometimes you get hungry rather suddenly. I go from zero to starving at an alarming rate. So keeping snacks on hand to help level off my blood sugar is imperative. The problem is, most store bought snack bars are filled with added preservatives, sugar, fillers, and other non-natural ingredients. Say you wanted to opt for a more natural version? Expect to pay $2-3 a bar, depending on the brand. I say “no thanks” to both options and have decided to make my own. If you want a clean and raw snack, this recipe will be perfect for you. In this article, learn how to make Lavender-Lemon Energy Bars.
When it comes to food, I am no saint. Sometimes I snack on things that are less than ideal. The solution? Like the Boy Scouts, always be prepared. What I found keeps me out of trouble is prepping ahead. Prepping food, including easy, healthy snacks, helps me keep from splurging on a pizza later that night. Eating regularly is also the key to maintaining a steady blood sugar and effective metabolism. So go ahead, whip up these tasty Lavender-Lemon Energy Bars. Your body will thank you later!
Some might be a bit skeptical about lavender in their food. In the words of Kimmy Schmidt: “But that’s a smell!” True, lavender has been used as a perfume for centuries, but it is more than just that. Lavender is actually a member of the mint family and is similar to rosemary, thyme or sage (1). The buds and stems (both fresh and dried) are edible and can be used in a variety of food preparations. It has a sweet, floral, and citrusy flavor, but can be bitter in larger quantities. Thus, a little goes a long way.
Lavender can be used in baking or cooking applications. It can be used as an excellent substitute for rosemary in breads, sauces, or marinades. Lavender has also be used to make tea for hundreds of years, as it creates a calming effect and can help alleviate headaches (1). The key to consuming lavender? Make sure you use culinary lavender. If you buy fresh lavender at the store from the florist, it is likely treated with various pesticides and can be harmful when eaten. To ensure you are getting culinary grade lavender, buy it from a natural market or specialty spice store. If shopping online, here is a good example here.
There are many recipes out there featuring this floral herb. Check out a nice list of recipes using culinary-lavender here.
Energy Bars, to the Rescue!
There is a good reason why they are called energy bars. With higher amounts of carbohydrates, energy bars tend to contain simple sugars which can be easily broken down and used for energy. The benefit of a natural and clean energy bar? The source of sugar comes from a plant-based, natural source: dates. Dates are high in fiber and easily digestible. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals such as potassium, iron, vitamins A and K, and magnesium (2). Dates are an excellent, clean alternative to traditional sweeteners.
Although sugars make this energy bar work quickly, I developed the recipe to contain a good amount of protein, which will sustain energy over a longer period of time. Say, during a workout. With the use of almonds, almond butter, and the option to add your favorite vegan protein powder, you will get anywhere from 4-8 grams of protein per bar. Protein found in nuts and other plant based sources (hemp, soy, etc) are ideal because they contain high levels of phytonutrients, disease fighting compounds (3). It is no wonder that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is shifting their focus to include more plant-based sources of protein and lower amounts meat (3).
Finally, these bars have the added benefit of whole grain oats, which means added fiber. Fiber keeps you full longer and helps your digestive system run smoothly. Eating an energy bar that has fiber, natural sugar, and protein is a good combination to fuel you immediately and for the next hour or two.
Lavender-Lemon Energy Bars
Making energy bars from scratch is pretty easy. All you really need is a food processor, a pan, and a knife. When making energy bars, like these Lavender-Lemon Energy Bars, you want to have a texture that is firm enough but sticky, binding all the ingredients together. If you mix your batch and they are too dry, add a teaspoon or 2 of water or honey to help add some extra sticky.
Like any other energy bar recipe, these can be made into either bars or balls. To save slightly on time and effort, the balls may be preferred. In addition, you may choose to individually wrap your energy bars in plastic wrap or parchment paper to keep them from getting stuck together when storing. Without further ado, here is the recipe:
What are your thoughts on culinary lavender? Would you ever make these? I would love to hear your questions, comments, and feedback below. Thanks for reading, friends!